NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley said the $2.5 billion the Liberals and Nationals plan to spend on knocking down and rebuilding Sydney stadiums could clear the school maintenance backlog on the North Coast 432 times.

Mr Foley joined Federal MP for Richmond Justine Elliot and Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord to highlight the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government’s misguided priorities in spending an obscene amount of money on Sydney stadiums when essential services on the North Coast desperately need the funds.

Mr Foley visited Tweed Heads South Public School which has a maintenance backlog of $255,546. Across the Tweed electorate the school maintenance backlog is $5.7 million with Kingscliff High School’s backlog standing at a massive $818,792.

The maintenance backlog alone could be cleared 432 times by the budget for the knockdown and rebuild of Sydney stadiums, which received the full support of the Nationals.

Across the North Coast thousands of children are being taught in 137 demountables. 

There are eight schools at 100 percent capacity.

Mr Foley said schools in the North Coast will be left to suffer under the Liberal and National Government’s out of touch decision to commit an obscene amount of money to knocking down and rebuilding Sydney stadiums.

This arrogant decision will also rob funds from the region’s hospitals which are already at breaking point.

Across the Northern NSW Local Health District the median waiting time for non-urgent elective surgery is 288 days – with some patients waiting 356 days. There are 4,974 patients waiting for elective surgery, according to the latest data.

Meanwhile across the Northern NSW Local Health District, an average of 24.2 per cent of patients waited more than four hours inside hospital emergency departments.

Quotes attributable to NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley

“I will not support this obscene amount of money being spent on a couple of Sydney stadiums.

“This money should go to schools and hospitals in the North Coast; they come first and will always do so under a Labor government”

Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot

“It is disappointing to see the Nationals prioritise spending $2.5 billion on two stadiums in Sydney when patients on the North Coast are waiting so long for urgent healthcare.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord

“Time and again the Nationals and their Liberal masters put the needs of Sydney ahead of those in the region. Schools and hospitals on the North Coast should come before stadiums in Sydney.”